Newsletter April 2018

Newsletter - April 2019 (with update)


Finally, another newsletter. It’s amazing how time escapes on me, especially during ski season. I’ll try to catch up, and do better for the rest of the season.


Northwest Regional Championship Meet – Prince Rupert May 10-12, 2019

Time to start thinking and planning to attend. This meet is open to all swimmers from Class 1.5 to Class 6, and swimming at home where you can sleep in your own bed is a great way to start your competitive career. We strongly recommend that all our Class 1.5 and Class 2 swimmers attend this meet. Talk to your coach if you have any questions.

This meet will have Preliminaries (Heats) and Finals for many of the races on Saturday and Sunday. That means that if you are one of the top swimmers in that race the morning, you come back and race again for medals in the afternoon. For the most part, this will only apply to swimmers in Class 4, 5, 6, but be sure you check with your coaches during the meet to find out if you need to swim a final!

Also, swim meets need lots of parent (or sibling!) volunteers to make them work. If you are relatively new to the club, please do volunteer. Don’t worry that you don’t know how to do the jobs, there is nothing like on-the-spot training to get you going! You’ll be paired with someone experienced to help you out. We also ask you to please provide a tray of food for the officials to eat during the meet; officiating is hungry business, and we can’t just walk away during the meet, so snacks are brought around. Sandwiches, vegetables and fruit, squares, cookies or other desserts – anything that can be eaten one-handed while holding your stopwatch in the other hand is welcome.


Duel Meets

Duel Meet #3 held on April 13, 2019 was won by…the BLUE TEAM! Woohoo Blue!

The final Duel Meet of the season will be held on June 15 – mark your calendars everyone.


Swimmers of the Month

Swimmers of the Month – December 2018 & January 2019

Class 1:  Nena Pederson comes from a Rapids swim family, and she’s doing a great job at holding up her end, always tough when you have older siblings to live up to.

Class 1.5: Ekbir Singh has improved so much since he began swimming last spring. He tries hard every practice, his dives and streamline are looking really good, and he has mastered that complicated breaststroke coordination. Ekbir swam at the Prince Rupert meet in December with great results, and I expect more good things to come this spring.

Class 2: Carina Franes has had a good year so far. She consistently attends practices, works hard at technical details and had a great meet in Prince Rupert in December. Sadly (for me) this means that shortly she will be moving up to Class 3, I just know it.

Class 3: Alli Daniele is one of those kids that just keeps putting in the effort. She pays attention to the details, stays focused and does it cheerfully.

Class 4/5/6:  Josh Joubert has moved up to swimming with the Big Kids, and is doing a fabulous job of it. Always cheerful, always friendly, always working hard, Josh is a great asset to our team.

Masters: Rob Basso is our Masters Swimmer of the Month for January-February. One of our most consistent swimmers, Rob is kind of the backbone of our evening practices. He’s always among the first to welcome new Masters, to take the time to explain what’s going on when coach Cheryl talks too fast, to be encouraging and living proof that it really doesn’t matter how fast you swim, what matters is that you SWIM. Having said that, and knowing it will thoroughly embarrass Rob, his freestyle has improved to the point where he looks pretty darn powerful as he cuts through the water, smooth and relaxed.

Swimmers of the Month – February & March 2019

Class 1:  Pierce Campbell is the first swimmer on deck virtually every practice, and tells me swimming is his very favourite thing ever. Isn’t it wonderful to have such enthusiasm?

Class 1.5: Courtney King began swimming with the club this season, and seems to improve with every practice.  First she picked up the strokes, now she’s working on her turns and dives, plus she works hard every day at every set (even the kick sets). Great work Courtney, keep it up!

Class 2: Nikysha Bhandal has been training so hard in all her practices this year. No more floating around like a jellyfish; when she puts her mind to it this girl can MOVE. I’ve seen a huge improvement in all her strokes and turns this season, and she has a fantastic streamline. She’s on top of the technical details, too. Reads the clock, remembers the set, counts her strokes during minimax…keep it up kiddo.

Class 3:  Lia Crump is a quiet, steady swimmer. She puts in a sincere effort during practice, and performs well in races (even if they aren’t her favourite thing).

Class 4/5/6:  Iona Riesen is having a fantastic year, best times all over the place. A conscientious athlete, focused and intense, Iona is an asset to our team.

Masters: Lauren Blechta is a new swimmer to our club this year. And she’s FAST! With Lauren here the women are definitely keeping the men on their toes, both at morning and evening practices. As Lauren is now also working as a lifeguard, you never know when she might turn up. It’s great to add yet another young master swimmer to our roster, especially one who attends so many practices.

Swimmers of the Month – April 2019

Class 1:  Jonah Stacey is our Class 1 swimmer of the month for April. Jonah puts in a good effort, shows up on time for dryland training, and just keeps on getting better and better.

Class 1.5: Alex Daniil has improved so much since he began swimming with the club. He tries hard every practice, his dives and streamline are now looking really good, and he has mastered the complicated art of focusing on the task at hand.  I look forward to seeing him race at our upcoming swim meet.

Class 2: Nadina Cam is new to our club, and has taken Class 2 by storm. She has perfect attendance this month, and is picking up all that “swim club” lingo and skills super fast. And that kick! Woohoo! She raced at the April Duel Meet for the first time, and she’s going to swim at the Rupert meet as well. Welcome to the Rapids, Nadina!

Class 3: Peter Joubert is a steady swimmer, takes his training pretty seriously and puts in a great effort at swim meets. He had best times in 8 events in Prince George! Nice job, Peter!

Class 4/5/6: Lauryn Fontaine member of the senior girls relay team, newly fledged life guard, part of the morning “flying squad”. Lauryn scored a best time in the 50 Fr in PG this April, soooooo close to breaking 30. Lauryn has a slightly different swimming story than many of our seniors in that she only started swim club a couple years ago after having swam as a young child. Watch her at the Rupert meet, folks.  Cross your fingers for her.

Masters: Jamie Alexander is our Masters Swimmer of the Month for April. Probably our most consistent Master swimmer, Jamie misses very few evening practices, and also trains with the Special Olympics team on Tuesday and Thursday. He’s an all around swimmer, but tends to race the longer events such as 200 Breast and 200 Free. At the Special Olympics swim meet this past weekend, Jamie took off a schwack of time in every race, and of course made the papers. Jamie is training to attend some big meets in the next year; Provincials, Nationals and I even heard a rumour of an international Special Olympics meet.

Coaches Corner: Types of Swim Meets

Swim Club is, in essence, a competitive sport.  We train to race, whether for the sheer fun of it or for the glory. You aren’t actually REQUIRED to race, but generally speaking the vast majority of our swimmers do. There are several different types of meets, depending on a swimmer’s age, ability and experience.


Duel Meets – this will usually be the first swim meet a new swimmer attends. We have 4-5 Duel Meets per season, open to ALL our swimmers (though the Masters very seldom choose to race). They run for ~3 hours on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and as well as normal races like 50m backstroke also include a number of fun races such as partner kick with a noodle or underwater dolphin kick with fins and relays that may include up to 7 people per team. These are Rupert Rapid meets, with the team divided in half (Blue and White) and senior swimmers as team captains that organize cheers and decorations for the pool. Duel Meets are intended as a fun team building activity and gentle introduction to competition.

Regional Meets – the next step up the ladder, these meets are open to swimmers in Class 1.5 and up and take place within our region (Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers). Usually running a couple hours Friday evening and 4-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday, they are somewhat more demanding than a Duel Meet, but still serve as an introduction to competition in a very friendly environment. We like our swimmers to be able to successfully compete in at least 5 races, meaning being capable of comfortably swimming the distance and doing “legal” turns, so sometimes Class 1 swimmer also attend these meets, especially the ones held here in Prince Rupert.

Invitational Meets/Out of Region – meets held out of our region, but that don’t require a qualifying time to attend such as the meets in Prince George. These require more of a commitment on the part of the swimmer (and their family!), as the travel times are longer. Sometimes younger siblings swim at out of region meets earlier than they normally would, because they are there anyways so they may as well swim. At Out of Region Meets, our swimmers compete as part of Points North, our regional team made up of swimmers from Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers. Points North was created to allow our small northern teams to have enough depth of talent to field a large enough team to compete against the big clubs from cities down south, as well as competitive relays.

Masters Meets – did you know that Masters (ages 19+) have a whole other list of meets to swim in, their own Provincials, Nationals and even FINA World Masters Championships? Swimming competitively does NOT end at the end of high school; there are something like 6000 Masters swimmers in Canada, ranging in age from 19 to over 100 years old! Masters competitions seldom have time standards, they are intended to be inclusive events open to anyone who wants to race for fun. At a Masters meet you may encounter a 75 year old at their very first meet, a former Olympian, or a 66 year old who can go 50m freestyle in 26.4 seconds.


What is a “qualifying meet”?


And that brings us to qualifying times and Time Standards. Here’s a bit of a breakdown on what “those times on the wall” mean, and how you “qualify” to attend a meet.

Swim Meets at the provincial level and above set Time Standards to ensure that only swimmers within a certain range of times can attend, otherwise these meets would be way too large and take way too long. A swimmer must attain a certain number of qualifying times in order to attend. And believe it or not, you can also be too FAST to attend some meets, meaning you’d be better suited to attending a meet at the next level up. In BC we have Tier I and Tier II meets for fast and faster swimmers, and then the fastest swimmers aim for Canadian Nationals. The Time Standards are set by our provincial and national governing bodies (SwimBC and Swimming Canada) based on an average of the times of swimmers from recent competitive seasons. These Time Standards are updated periodically, and can be found online as well as on the bulletin board at the deep end of our pool.

Most provinces hold Provincial meets, though some with fewer competitive swimmers combine with another region to increase the number of potential qualifying swimmers. For the last couple of seasons, Points North has chosen to attend ManSask Provincials, as many more of our swimmers met the qualifying times for those meets than did for the BC Tier I and II meets, allowing for a larger team and a better experience.

Above the provincial level come Westerns and Easterns (dividing Canada roughly in half), Nationals and Olympic Trials. High Performance or Elite athletes swim at international meets including FINA World Championships, PanAmerican Championships and at multisport events like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games. FINA, or the Fédération Internationale de Natation is the international governing body for the five watersports (swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming) and sets the rules that we use at swim meets so everyone all over the world is playing by the same rules, whether it’s a regional meet or the Olympics.



Did you know we have a club website? Have you ever checked it out? This is a great place to look for information about what our club has been doing, schedules of upcoming swim meets and photos of our team doing what we do – swimming hard and having fun. This is where you look to find team records and contact information to order Team Gear.  You will also find our Swimmers of the Month here, a Coaches Corner with some (hopefully useful) tips and information, and past Newsletters.

Team Gear

Signi Solmundson is the person to talk to if you need goggles, team suits or swim caps, or fins, paddles, snorkels or one of those cool team backpacks. Signi will be at the Swim Meet in May, but she can be reached by email or text (and this contact info is also on the website!). You can look up sizes or explore different types of snorkels at 

Email:  text/phone: 250-600-3387